NFL 2008 Week 14: Redskins Short Trip North to Face Ravens in Beltway Bowl IV

Dean MikelisCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2008

After playing six of their last eight games on the road, the Baltimore Ravens host the Washington Redskins. This is the first ever regular season match-up between the Redskins and Ravens in Baltimore.  The Redskins head north to Baltimore to recover from their 23-7 loss to the Giants, while the Ravens seek their third straight win and seventh in eight games.

The game should be a matchup of strengths. 

The Redskins and Ravens boast two of the NFLs top-ranked defenses and rely heavily on superior rushing attacks. On offense, Washington ranks fifth in rush offense averaging 139.4 yards per game, while Baltimore is third at 143.8 yards per game.

On defense, the Ravens are second in overall defense, including third against the rush, while the Redskins are sixth in the league in overall defense, including seventh against the run. The two teams rank first and second in the NFL in forcing opposing offenses into three-and-out situations.

Should be a close game?

Below average football simply will not cut it against an above average Ravens team. And the Redskins have been playing below average football over their past 5 games (2-3).

The two wins came against the win-less Lions (Week 8: 25-17) and the dismal Seahawks (Week 12: 20 - 17).  The Redskins wound up losing three home games to the Steelers (Week 9: 23-6), Cowboys (Week 11: 14-10) and Giants (Week 13: 23-7). Meanwhile, the Ravens have mounted impressive wins in 6 of 7 games, losing only to the Giants.

Although, both teams need the win for their playoff drive, the Redskins find themselves in an almost-must-win situation.

The key to this game will be ball control

That said, the Redskins won't be able to muster much on offense. Expect the Ravens to hold Clinton Portis and the Redskins in check. As a result, the Redskins defense will tire early in the second half as Flacco and the Ravens start pulling away towards a 31-10 victory over the Redskins.

Redskins Short Trip North to Face Ravens in Beltway Bowl IV